Joe’s Special Box – Volume 17

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and A Collector’s Things

Are you seeing double?  At first glance, it would seem so…  but upon closer inspection of this Art Nouveau darling – you’ll discover a difference or two.  Identical amethyst stones are cradled in a matte gold engraved frame; what a stunning canvas they create for this pair of delightful paintings!

First, on the left side, a young girl mischievously holds a colorful bouquet of flowers over the head of her playmate, a golden-haired cherub.  Then, on the right, an impish cherub sits on the lap of a girl with a nosegay of posies in hand while she holds his bow in the air.  What an array of whimsical imagery!

Art Nouveau (1890-1910) revealed in the female form.  It was a celebration of the woman, often combined with nature.  Multicolored enamel brought life to the jewels created during this time.  Soft colored gemstones like moonstone, amethyst, and pearls added an element of shimmer to this wearable art.  Pieces from this era are highly sought after and often collected; much like this brooch that made its way into Joe’s Special Box.  

Go to our site and look, then come to Joden and touch.

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

Quiet Adoration

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Cherub Wings

This late Victorian or early Art Nouveau brooch always makes me smile.  The image has long been used on everything from postcards to T-shirts.  I knew it was “Raphael’s angel” – what I didn’t know was that this pensive cherub was just a small part of a much larger painting. 

Created in 1512 by Raphael Sanzio, this awe-inspiring work is titled “The Sistine Madonna“.  It was commissioned by Pope Julius II for the church of San Sisto, Piacenza.  For over 500 years, many have expostulated about the symbolism and meaning of these two cherubim…  here are two of my favorites.

The first proposes that two children came to watch Raphael while he painted the Madonna.  He was so enchanted by their demeanor that he added them to his masterpiece, exactly as they were.  In the early 1900’s a second story circulated…  it argued that Raphael was inspired by a pair of children that he saw on the street; the two were gazing wistfully into a bakery window.  It sounds reasonable… fresh baked goods have been known to bring a dreamy look to my face a time or two!


The brooch itself is actually a tiny miniature painting on porcelain – it is fully ensconced in a yellow gold frame with a decorative entwined rope edge.  The cherub rests his cheek in his left hand, and gazes upward while a glorious wing of crimson and emerald feathers curves out from his right shoulder.  Rows of delicate curls cascade down both sides of his head and a soft pink blush graces this delightful cherub’s cheeks.  Each of these details add interest to the piece – but for me, it all comes down to a singular point…  Raphael’s reverence; quiet adoration.  He gazes at God with the eyes of his heart.  

“You can go to our site and look, them come to Joden and touch.”

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

Let Your Light Shine Down

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Illuminated Things

“In nature, light creates the color.”  – Hans Hoffman

Plique à Jour…  this French phrase loosely translates to “let the daylight in”.  In jewelry, it refers to a style of enameling akin to stained glass….  and like a finely stained glass window, it comes alive when you hold it up to the light.  The framework seems to disappear, leaving a shimmering rainbow glow. 

This piece has laid on the shelf behind Joe’s desk since the day he bought it… somehow it has managed to avoid being placed in with the regular inventory.  It’s been passed over 100 times or more – maybe even forgotten.  I think it’s because when it lays on the shelf, it doesn’t look like much.  Just metal and glass.  But the moment you pick it up and hold it to the light…  that’s when the magic happens.  

It’s a complete metamorphosis.  My eyes hardly know where to look first…  the blue, green, and purple hues are completely captivating.  Suddenly, I wanted to see more.

Symbolism abounds in this early Art Nouveau creation, and it’s all about an awakening – a resurgence of life…  Did you see the lotus blossom at the top?  The lotus has long been a symbol of spiritual enlightenment and rebirth.  Every night this resilient flower submerges itself beneath murky waters only to re-bloom the next morning without a single drop of residue on its petals, completely immaculate.

Now, feast your eyes on the brilliant blue butterfly at the center of the piece – perhaps a Blue Morpho.  Butterflies are thought to exemplify endurance, change, and hope.  They are the ultimate symbol of resurrection.  Notice that the face of the butterfly is a cherub.  Cherubs are thought to keep vigil over those in need of strength, faith, and renewal.  The hidden meaning knows no bounds.

Holding it to the light, I am bewitched…  and when it rests in my hand, I am beguiled and bewildered.  First, bewitched by the vast array of color (i.e. remember your first box of 64 Crayola’s?); then beguiled and bewildered by the complexity of the mind that was not only able to dream of this artistry, but also bring it to life.  

Call for special pricing and availability.

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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